Q and Bond arrived at Brunswick House Café a few minutes before eight; Q exited the car at the entrance of the restaurant and Bond drove to the parking lot where he set up his work station. Actually, Bond just adjusted the two computer screens; Q had gotten the programs set up so James would be able to assist Q on his date.
James activated the programs and Q appeared on the video screen. He was wandering outside the café looking for Miss B. It finally occurred to the Quartermaster that he didn't have a clue what this woman looked like. He stopped walking through the small crowd of people outside the restaurant and glanced around him.
When Q's eyes peered towards the building, a couple moved, revealing behind them a young woman leaning on the brick wall. Her hair was pulled back into a ponytail that elegantly rested on her shoulder, so that you could clearly see her smoky eyes and dark red lipstick. The dark amethyst dress flowed around her body till it reached the ground, and she had this look of confidence and mystery about her that made Q's jaw drop a mile. He stood staring at Miss B until he heard Bond's voice in his ear.
"Well what are you waiting for, you bloody idiot, go introduce yourself!" Bond shouted into the microphone. Q jumped at 007's instructions, and started walking slowly toward the brick wall where Miss B stood waiting.
She recognized the Quartermaster before Q even made it to her side, but she had to do a double take; she'd heard about Q's particular style and dinner jackets were most certainly not a part of it. Miss B's mouth opened slightly but she closed it before her jaw could drop completely.
Bond walked Q through this crucial moment, "Q, this is the most important first impression you are ever going to make. When you reach her, take her hand, say her name, and kiss the back of her hand. Keep eye contact as much as possible. Try to imitate that look of mystery that she is wearing. Compliment that magnificent dress of hers. Tell her that the glitter of the dress matches the sparkle in her eyes. And when she smiles, wrap her arm around yours and lead her inside."
Q did as he was told; looking into Miss B's eyes as he took the last few steps toward her. Q took hold of her hand, "Miss B," he said, bowing slightly to kiss her hand. When he brought his head back up, Miss B's eyes met his and she peered carefully as if she were discovering all of Q's deepest, darkest secrets. This intimidated Q like no other, and he froze in fear.
"Don't let her gaze intimidate you, Q! Compliment her! Stay with it, Q!" James hissed. He put his hand on his face in exasperation; 007 couldn't believe that Q was failing already. This man could hack security programs under the most pressure, yet he couldn't even tell a woman that she looked pretty.
Q shot up, and mumbled, "You look beautiful," quickly losing every ounce of confidence.
Miss B moved closer, her face wrinkling with confusing, "Sorry? What was that?" she asked the Quartermaster. Q stood with his mouth frozen open, incomprehensible sounds coming out as he tried to recover his poise.
"Q, stop. Take a deep breath and try again. Don't screw this up," Bond's voice whispered into Q's ear.
Q took a breath: in and out. He closed his eyes, but when he opened them again and saw Miss B's beauty, he felt nervous again. He did manage to stammer, "You look lovely, Miss B."
While he led her inside for dinner, Miss B's mind was racing, "I ask for a date with the Quartermaster, and Bond sends me this kid? This is the infamous Quartermaster?! He can't even execute a proper introduction without tripping all over himself. Poor Bond, poor M16. Things just aren't the way they used to be. At this rate, I'll be able to charm the security codes for the whole country out of this kid, if I can get him to say one whole word without stammering."
Bond was taking Q through the evening step-by-step, and surprisingly things had gotten better since the introduction. The couple was seated, the waiter had poured their wine, and Miss B was telling Q about life in the classroom. Bond told Q when he should nod, agree, and compliment his date during their conversation.
"I don't smile until almost Thanksgiving. You have to show them that you mean business up front so they know that they can't get away with anything. You know how teenage boys can be. They drive me absolutely crazy most days!" Miss B explained, waving her glass of wine in the air as she spoke.
She had hardly taken any sips, but she noticed that Q hadn't touched his glass since they had clinked glasses in a toast of health and prosperity.
"You don't like the wine?" she asked the Quartermaster, who jumped when she called him out.
Q shook as he reached for his glass in reply, but didn't fully grasp the cup. White wine spilled all over the table, causing Miss B to shriek in fear of her dress being ruined.
Bond's voice echoed in Q's ear, "WHAT THE BLOODY HELL HAPPENED, Q?! …Q?!"
But the Quartermaster had had enough of Bond's help. He shouted back at the agent, "Shut up, 007! I'm doing my bloody best and you're only making me more nervous!"
Their server had quickly returned with extra napkins to soak up the liquid. Q slouched back in his chair, flinging his hand up to his head in exasperation. He murmured to himself and began running his hand through his thick hair. Miss B examined this breakdown, and almost immediately felt sympathy for the Quartermaster.
"He's young; And stressed out beyond belief. He's got so much weight on his shoulders, and that bloody 007 isn't helping. I wonder…" She rose from her seat to kneel beside Q. She reached up to his ear where the communication device was placed, and removed it.
Miss B whispered in his now free ear, "I think that's enough from 007. And enough talk about me; I want to hear about what you," She put her hand beneath his chin and raised it so she could see Q's eyes. They were captivating, not dark and mysterious like she had thought, but hidden behind those specs, she would have never known for sure. It was strenuous not to kiss him right then. Instead she climbed back into her chair, playing with a loose strand on her wrap that lay across the armrest.
After a short silent moment between them, Miss B peered back at Q, who was still leaning back in his seat. His eyes moved to meet her gaze.
"Well, go on," she motioned to him, "Tell me about yourself."
Q was not used to "telling people about himself." In fact, no one had asked him that question in a very long time. He sat back up in his chair, "Well, what do you want to know?"
"Oh, anything. Tell me about your family."
"My family?" Q paused. What could he tell her about them? He hadn't even thought about his mother and sisters in years. He didn't even know if they were still in Wiltshire where he grew up.
A/N: Finally, an update! Sorry guys! Thank you for being so patient!